The Arkansas Center for Nursing recently released the winners of the prestigious award, ’40 Nurse Leaders Under 40’. This award recognizes young nurse leaders who create an environment of trust, compassion, and mutual respect and motivate staff with a shared vision to achieve better outcomes for patients and nurses. Congratulations to all 23 UAMS nurses who were nominated and the 9 selected winners! Additionally, during Nurses’ Month, 37 RNs were nominated for the UAMS Professional Nursing Awards, 7 teams inclusive of nursing were nominated for the Team Impact Award, 7 RNs were nominated for the Helen May Compassion Award and 2 RNs were nominated for the Mary Helen Forrest Legacy Award. These are impressive numbers, but given that UAMS has over 2,000 nurses, we simply must do better to recognize nurses in meaningful ways.
The impacts of meaningful recognition cannot not be underestimated. According to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (ACCN), meaningful recognition is one of the core principles of a healthy work environment (Benedict & Griffin, 2017). It might seem like common sense that meaningful recognition leads to increased job satisfaction; this is certainly supported by the literature. What may be surprising to some is that research demonstrates that healthy work environments, supported by meaningful recognition, leads to improved patient outcomes (Psychological Associates, 2009). This is because meaningful recognition is so closely tied to RN job satisfaction, which leads to increased collaboration and teamwork, which leads to retention. Retention of highly qualified and engaged RNs has been linked to high quality patient care and improved outcomes. Recognition is also a core tenant of Nursing Excellence, reflected in the 12th Force of Magnetism, Image of Nursing. This force speaks to the recognition of nursing as integral to the hospital’s ability to provide patient care services and that the contributions of nursing are characterized as essential to other members of the healthcare team (ANCC, 2017). The 2019 Magnet Manual specifies three Magnet outcomes that require evidence that our organization recognizes nurses for their contributions in addressing organizational priorities and clinical care of patients (SE12 A&B and SE13).
Meaningful recognition comes in many forms – from small notes of appreciation, to unit/clinic-based awards, to professional nursing awards and organizational recognition. Some examples of these types of recognition include:
- Note of appreciation: E-Cards (hyperlink address: https://inside.uams.edu/recognition-toolkit/e-cards/)
- Unit/clinic-based awards:
- ICEE You Being a Star (SUSL/JEI/Transplant Service Line award)
- GEM (Going the Extra Mile) F8 Unit Award
- Professional Nursing Awards:
- The DAISY Award (hyperlink address: https://nurses.uams.edu/daisy-award/)
- Organizational Awards:
Please consider making a commitment to recognize your nursing colleagues. This can include:
- Visiting the UAMS Recognition Toolkit (hyperlink address: https://inside.uams.edu/recognition-toolkit/) for ideas on recognition and appreciation
- Developing a monthly award for your unit/clinic
- Committing to submit at least 1 nomination for every nursing award available throughout the year
Who can you recognize today for the value they bring in the work they do?
ANCC. (2017). 2019 Magnet application manual. American Nurses Credentialing Center
Benedict, A., & Griffin, C. (2017). Beacon award for excellence: The impact of recognition on the nursing practice environment. Critical Care Nurse, 37(4), 81-83.
Psychological Associates. (2009). Literature review on meaningful recognition in nursing.